February 9, 2021

Three Simple Ways to Satisfy Reader Expectation—and Increase Sales

By Paul Goat Allen

So, while the content included in this blog seems to be stating the obvious—it’s not always apparent to writers who have had their heads immersed in their respective writing project for years. (Insert “can’t see the forest for the trees” idiom here.)

I’m talking about understanding reader expectation: knowing what narrative […]

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January 26, 2021

The Big Genre Fiction Shift to Watch in 2021—and Beyond

By Paul Goat Allen

As a genre fiction book reviewer for almost the last three decades, I’ve seen firsthand the slow but persistent evolution of all genre categories—science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, horror, etc.—and it has been a glorious growth to witness. There is no question about it: today’s genre fiction is much different […]

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May 5, 2020

5 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Fantasy Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

So, you’ve been contemplating writing a fantasy novel for a while—or maybe you’ve begun drafting it out or are already in revisions. Before you go any farther, I want you to seriously contemplate this question for a moment: “Why are you writing this particular story?” If you’re writing this novel […]

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April 28, 2020

Familiar but Unique: The First Rule of Selling Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve had enough conversations with publishers, agents, editors, and writers over the last few decades to know that for fiction releases—and genre fiction releases in particular—to have any chance at being commercially successful, those novels need to be familiar but unique.

Sounds like a contradiction, right? But it makes perfect […]

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April 14, 2020

5 Mistakes That Will Doom Any Self-Published Book

By Paul Goat Allen

For the last 25 years, I’ve been a full-time genre fiction book critic—writing for companies from BlueInk Review to Publishers Weekly to The Chicago Tribune. I’ve evaluated titles in every genre category and reviewed both traditionally published and independently published titles.

I’ve read and reviewed enough books (10,000+) to know […]

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